Top 10 Social Media Pitfalls to Avoid

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Social media can be an extremely effective tool for communication, personal branding, and business marketing. It can also be a minefield for the uninitiated. Here are the top 10 rookie mistakes to avoid when using social media:

1. Overuse
The saying “too much of a good thing” certainly applies to social media. There are more than 200 social media sites in existence today, and just thirteen platforms have more than 100 million users. The most common pitfall for users of social media is simply spreading themselves too thin.

2. Burnout
Many people suffer burnout from using social media due to unrealistic expectations, overuse, and not following a social media plan from the beginning.

3. Inconsistency
While life gets in the way, nothing will kill your audience engagement faster than inconsistent content and failing to respond to interactions in a timely fashion. Followers expect regular interaction, and without it, those relationships won’t thrive.

4. Negativity
Nobody likes negativity, online or off. This applies to content you share as well as the responses you give to content from others.

5. Over-friending
Avoid automated following and friending. Twitter accounts with thousands of followers aren’t really engaging very well on a one-to-one basis.

6. Automated messaging
Automation is obvious and annoying. Multiple messages that are the same over and over at different times are nothing but spam that will lose you followers.

7. Insincerity
It doesn’t pay to agree with every single one of your followers, and it doesn’t do anything positive for your brand. Polite disagreement is inevitable and natural when lots of people get together and start sharing opinions.

8. Basing all activities on metrics
Metrics are a great tool for determining the effectiveness of your social media strategy, but they are just a tool. Build actionable metrics with fresh and timely content. Then use with caution.

9. Not giving first
If you approach social media with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, chances are the answer is ‘nothing.’ Social media is a two-way street and you have to give first: likes, shares, time, attention, and patience.

10. Spamming
Spamming is the cardinal sin of social media, just like any other unrequested form of advertising. Users are inundated with media, ads, telemarketing, and other unsolicited advertising every day. When you become one more person sending messages to recipients you don’t know or who don’t know you, not only are you unlikely to get a response, but you could be blocked for spam as well.

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